(Last Updated On: July 28, 2020)

Alphabet’s Google will be taken to court by Australia’s competition regulator as it claims that it has been misleading consumers regarding the extended use of personal data for targeted advertising. 

The court proceedings are by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in Federal Court. ACCC said Google did not directly earn consent nor did it clearly let consumers know about a 2016 move to merge personal information in Google accounts with activities on non-Google websites that use its technology.

The regulator said that this practice let Google link the names and other ways of identifying customers relating their behaviour anywhere online. 

This move by the ACCC has come at the right time as a lot of tech companies all over the world are under scrutiny when it comes to privacy. 

Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman said in a statement, “We are taking this action because we consider Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to do with large amounts of their personal information, including internet activity on websites not connected to Google.”

The ACCC believes that Google could be using the merged data in order to improve targeted advertising, which is a vital source of revenue for the company and has not informed its consumers regarding the changes in its privacy policy. 

It is not clear what the regulator is hoping for the outcome in court to be but has filed this claim on a “confidential basis pending claims by Google.”

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